Dairy Options Pilot Program

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Agriculture , Risk Management Agency
CFDA #: 10.454

Purpose of this program:

The purpose of the Dairy Options Pilot Program (DOPP) is to educate dairy producers in the use of options contracts as risk management tools and to ascertain the usefulness of options to dairy producers in various regional markets.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Funds will be used to share the cost of premium for 'put' options purchased by DOPP participants and for a portion of the brokers' fees to conduct and execute transactions. Funds may be used to purchase only 'put' options on milk futures contracts. Other discretionary expenses will be incurred by RMA to operate the program such as those associated with the DOPP's required training sessions.

Who is eligible to apply...

To be eligible for any benefits under this program, applicants must be dairy farmers (i.e., an individual, entity, or joint operation, which as owner, operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper is entitled to share in the production available for marketing from the dairy farm, or share in the proceeds thereof) who: (1) Are eligible for a production flexibility contract, a marketing assistance loan or any other assistance under Title I of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996; (2) volunteer to participate in this program; (3) operate a dairy farm located in a county selected for the pilot program; and (4) have documented production history of at least 100,000 pounds of production over any consecutive 6-month period during the most recent 12 months.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Dairy farmers must certify that they are eligible for the DOPP and that their farm produced at least 100,000 pounds of milk over a consecutive 6-month period during the most recent 12 months.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

The DOPP application materials will be mailed to producers in counties where the program operates.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Each round of the program will last up to 12 months for each participant and operate for up to 3 years in each pilot county.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Farmers have one month after the county official training date to return their signed application and a copy of their production records to RMA.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Farmers should expect a response within 3 weeks of RMA's receipt of their applications.

Preapplication Coordination

The DOPP application and participation agreement materials include Form CCC-320 and a brochure explaining DOPP, along with instructions. Consultation or assistance is available from RMA and from extension agents to aid in preparing these forms. No informal preapplication consultation is necessary. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.



Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).



Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Dairy farmers.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Direct Payments for Specified Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance


Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Direct payments) FY 03 $697,475; FY 04 est $0 for options pilot program expansion; and FY 05 est $0.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

The program was operated to fund milk put options purchases for dairy producers in 38 counties in a total of seven States during the original Round of DOPP (Round I). The program operated between 6 to 8 months in each State. For Round II, the program was expanded to include 61 new counties and included a total of 32 States. None of the original (Round I) counties were chosen to participate in Round II of the program. DOPP Round III was piloted in 275 counties and 39 states during FY 2001. An additional 25 counties were chosen by the Secretary of Agriculture for implementation during FY 2002. Counties from Rounds I, II, and III are included in the 300 total counties in 40 states during FY 2002 because DOPP will continue to operate in these counties, as directed by Congress.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In DOPP Round I, 1,450 dairy producers were trained; 428 of those dairy producers bought 1,700 milk put options. During DOPP Round II, 1,226 dairy producers were trained; 129 of those dairy producers bought 310 milk put options due to low prices. An increased number of dairy producers attended training during Round III; 790 of those dairy producers bought 2,816 milk put options.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

This assistance is available to farmers in selected counties from the date application materials are mailed to farmers in those counties until all options have been liquidated. All DOPP options must be purchased within 4 months of the date of the training session in each county. The assistance is paid to the farmer's broker on behalf of the farmer on a transaction-by- transaction basis.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The program has no statutory formula. The proposed cost-sharing arrangement between RMA and participating dairy farmers calls for RMA to pay for 80 percent of premiums and up to $30 in broker fees for each options contract purchased under the DOPP. The farmer pays for 20 percent of the premium and any broker fees in excess of $30 per contract. This program has no matching requirements for State and local governments.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...



Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


RMA's Office of Risk Compliance will conduct random audits of participating producers' and brokers' trading activity to verify compliance with the DOPP agreements.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).



Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Title I; Agricultural Market Transition Act, Subtitle H, Public Law 104-127; Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106- 224.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Brochure - "Got Options? Announcing the Dairy Options Pilot Program".

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Risk Management Agency, Stop #0808, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Contact: Lee Ziegler, Telephone: (202) 690-0520. Fax: (202) 690-3605. Email: rma.options@wdc.usda.gov.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: